SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Not everyone’s brain thinks or processes things in the same way. Figuring out why can be a major part of the battle. Actress Rhonda S. Musak explores the journey in her one-woman show "Rhonda Badonda: The Adventures of a Girl with a Pain in Her Brain," which will be held Sunday, June 2, at 2 p.m., at South Orange Middle School, 70 N. Ridgewood Road, South Orange.
The performance is a funny, autobiographical story of Musak’s experiences handling the learning disability that affected her life since childhood. In the piece that was written by the actress, she explores why she could never quite sort out information like everyone else. Her personal story gives audiences a peek inside her brain, shows how she struggled to work through everyday tasks, and how she now thinks and deals with a disability.
After years of wondering why her brain worked differently, it turns out that Musak has a sensory and audio processing disorder that she was diagnosed with in 2010. That explained everything and set her on a path of sharing her experiences with the world. Through her life story, the one-woman show entertains while educating people about the lives and brains of people with disabilities.
Musak’s play, which includes more than 20 characters, is nearly 70 minutes in length. Some of the characters represent the actress at various ages. Included in her journey is the discovery of Tomatis therapy, a treatment created by French doctor Alfred Tomatis which uses sound stimulation to help individuals create better emotional, cognitive, and motor skills. The listening sessions, which she began 10 years ago and continues today, include listening to the music of Mozart. It calms the brain, she says, and helps her restart her thinking when things stall.
Since creating the show in 2015, Musak has performed it at Raritan Valley Community College, SUNY Purchase, Vancouver Fringe Festival, and other venues. A graduate of the National Shakespeare Conservancy, she is a New York City-based actress who teaches acting at her own acting studio, Art & Soul Acting and throughout the country.
Rhonda Badonda: The Adventures of a Girl with a Pain in Her Brain is directed by Gareth Hendee. Tickets can be purchased through this link: http://jespyhouse.isecuresites.com/product/events/Rhonda-Badonda